29 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Chitungwiza Fires Seventeen Over Strike

CHITUNGWIZA Municipality has fired 17 workers for instigating an illegal strike. The job action resulted in the workers dumping waste on management's office doors and causing havoc at the council offices.

The municipality recently suspended several workers over the strike but 17 were found guilty and dismissed.

Council workers last month embarked on a strike that paralysed service delivery at the municipality citing non-payment of salaries for up to three months.

Labour and Social Services Minister Paurina Mupariwa issued a show cause order directing the workers to return to work pending justification of the strike before the Labour Court.

The workers continued with the strike despite the directive and the Labour Court declared the strike illegal.

Council was given the green light to take disciplinary action against the workers who took part in the strike.

Following the ruling, the municipality suspended some 26 workers before conducting disciplinary hearings over the past two weeks.

That resulted in the conviction of the 17.

The hearing committee approved dismissal of the 17 workers who are part of more than 700 workers suspended early this month after Labour Court declared the collective job action illegal.

The disciplinary hearings have however, torched a storm with the workers' representatives who are contesting the manner in which they were being conducted.

Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Workers Union general secretary Mr Bernard Danda confirmed that the council had fired 17 workers.

He said the 17 employees had already filed appeal papers with the appeal body at Chitungwiza Town Council.

"I can confirm that the 17 workers were fired but they have already appealed against the decision to the council's appeals board.

"They are challenging the circumstances and the manner in which they were convicted and subsequently fired," he said.

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